CHPA to Hoosier State: E-tracking will curb PSE sales

WASHINGTON The Consumer Healthcare Products Association is slated to testify Wednesday before an Indiana legislative committee on how the state can improve its policies for preventing the illegal diversion of pseudoephedrine.

The Indiana State Legislature's Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee will hear a range of policy options, from requiring a prescription for currently accessible medicines to implementing an electronic tracking system to block illegal sales of PSE.

"The residents of Indiana deserve a solution that will help fight the state's meth problem, without placing additional burdens on individuals, families and the state," stated Mandy Hagan, director of state government relations for CHPA. "Electronic tracking is the only system that blocks illegal PSE sales while maintaining consumer access to the safe and effective medications they rely on for colds and allergies."

In Indiana, there currently is no mechanism in place to curb the practice of "smurfing," when criminals move from store to store to purchase illegal amounts of PSE to be used in the production of meth.

E-tracking, which has been adopted by 12 states nationwide and is funded by members of CHPA, will afford local law enforcement officials an investigative tool to track and prevent meth production across state lines. The system also preserves Indianans' over-the-counter access to the PSE medications.

According to a poll by David Binder Research, almost two-thirds of surveyed Indiana voters oppose making common cold and allergy medications containing PSE available by prescription only, and 82% agree that an Rx-only requirement would create an "unnecessary burden" for law-abiding citizens.

The Indiana State Retail Association also supports implementation of an electronic tracking system.

The survey, conducted from Jan. 14 to 24, involved 368 Indiana state residents ages 18 years or over, all of whom voted in the last election, and has a margin of error of +/-5.1%. The survey was sponsored by CHPA.

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